Why does it cost so much to access your money at an ATM? The short answer: because you don’t have another option. ATMs are everywhere – NerdWallet reported about 175,000 bank and credit union ATMs nationwide – because they’re functional. Between credit cards, debit cards, and apps like PayPal and Venmo, it’s easy to get by without cash these days. But when you do need to get cash (good luck tipping a bartender with Venmo), the ATM fees will get you.